Massachusetts Executive Branch

The executive branch manages the business of the Commonwealth.

Current Executive Officeholders

Governor Deval Patrick
Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray
Secretary of the Commonwealth
(also called Secretary of State)
William F. Galvin
Attorney General Martha Coakley
Treasurer Steven Grossman
Auditor Suzanne Bump

 

Governor

  • Is the chief executive officer of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • Prepares and presents state budget to legislature
  • Can veto or reduce a budget item and can veto bills
  • Appoints judges
  • Grants pardons
  • Appoints department heads and members of boards and commissions
  • Serves as commander-in-chief of Massachusetts National Guard
  • Presides over the Governor’s Council with no vote
  • Visit the Governor’s Site

Lieutenant Governor

  • Presides in the event of absence, death or disability of governor
  • Becomes acting governor if the governor’s office becomes vacant
  • Assists in administration of executive agencies
  • Votes as a member of the Governor’s Council; acts as non-voting president when the governor is absent
  • Visit the Lieutenant Governor’s site

Secretary of the Commonwealth

Attorney General

  • Is the state’s chief law enforcement officer
  •  Advises and represents the Commonwealth, giving legal opinions and serving as its lawyer in court
  • Enforces laws in consumer protection, environmental protection, eivil rights, health care, insurance and financial services, and antitrust areas
  • Investigates public corruption, financial fraus, organized crime, narcotics violations and other crimes
  • Enforces business and labor laws
  • Visit the Attorney General’s site

Treasurer and Receiver General

  • Collects, takes care of and distributes state funds
  • Issues state bonds and decides the investment policy of the state
  • Runs the state lottery
  • Visit the Treasurer’s site

Auditor

  • Conducts audits of state funds to make sure they have been given out legally and accounted for properly
  • Investigates reports of fraud and waste
  • Determines whether laws impose unfunded mandates on cities and towns
  • Visit the Auditor’s site

All of the above officers are elected to four-year terms

Governor’s Cabinet

  • These executive administrators oversee the operations of the departments of Massachusetts and advise the governor
  • The cabinet secretaries head the departments of : Administration and Finance, Education, Energy and Environmental Affairs, Health and Human Services, Housing and Economic Development, Labor and Workforce Development, Public Safety and Security, and Transportation
  • They are appointed by the governor and accountable to him or her
  • Visit the Governor’s Cabinet site

Governor’s Council

  • In colonial times this council, also called the Executive Council, was established to act as a check on the governor, who was appointed by the English Crown
  • The council has eight  members elected from districts in addition to the lieutenant governor
  • Members are elected for two-year terms
  • The Council meets weekly to record advice and consent on warrants for the state treasury, pardons and commutations, and recording advice and consent to gubernatorial appointments as judges and to boards and administrative positions.
  • Visit the Governor’s Council site